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How to Become a Paralegal

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Are you an analytical and organized professional who thrives in an independent and systematic environment? If so, then working as a paralegal might be the perfect role for you. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a paralegal “helps lawyers prepare for hearings, trials, and corporate meetings. Paralegals use technology and computer software for managing and organizing the increasing amount of documents and data collected during a case.” Furthermore, a paralegal role can be the perfect steppingstone to a future career as a lawyer. The profession is expected to grow 14% within the next ten years, making this a strategic and prosperous career choice.

 

Becoming a paralegal requires hard work and dedication. Our blog on how to become a paralegal will help simplify this process. Additionally, be sure to check out our open paralegal jobs once you’re ready to begin applying. Now, let’s get started!

 

Step One: Obtain a High School Diploma or Equivalent

The minimum requirement for a paralegal position is typically a high school diploma or its equivalent, a General Education Development (GED) certificate. A solid foundation in English, math, critical thinking, and communication skills will serve as a strong base for your future studies and professional development. 

Step Two: Pursue Post-Secondary Education

While a bachelor’s degree is not always required to become a paralegal, going to college, or completing a paralegal program, can significantly enhance your prospects in the job market. Consider pursuing an associate degree in paralegal studies or enrolling in a certificate program offered by a recognized institution. These programs provide comprehensive knowledge in areas such as legal research, writing, ethics, and litigation support.

Step Three: Gain Practical Experience Through Internships

To solidify your understanding of the legal profession and develop valuable skills, seek opportunities to gain practical experience. Look for internships or entry-level positions in law firms, corporate legal departments, or government agencies. Practical experience will expose you to real-world legal tasks, improve your understanding of legal processes, and build a strong foundation for your career.

Step Four: Refine Your Legal Skills and Knowledge

Continual professional development is crucial for paralegals. Enhance your legal skills by attending workshops, seminars, and continuing education courses. Stay updated with changes in laws and regulations, particularly within your practice area of interest. Developing expertise in legal research, case management software, and document preparation tools will make you an invaluable asset to any legal team.

Step Five: Obtain Certification

While certification is not always mandatory, it can greatly enhance your credibility and job prospects as a paralegal. Consider obtaining professional certifications offered by recognized organizations, such as the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) or the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA). These certifications validate your skills and knowledge, showcasing your commitment to professionalism and ethical standards.

Step Six: Secure Employment and Advance Your Career

With the foundation set, it’s time to embark on your paralegal career. Utilize networking, job boards, and professional organizations to search for paralegal positions. Be sure to use LinkedIn to connect with others in your industry and in the prospective firms you’re interested in. Tailor your resume and cover letter to highlight your education, experience, and relevant skills. Once employed, seize every opportunity to expand your responsibilities, gain new experiences, and advance in your career.

 



In conclusion, becoming a paralegal can be a rewarding career choice. Our blog on how to become a paralegal will hopefully serve as a useful resource for you as you pursue this path. Be sure to check our open paralegal jobs on our job board for when you’re finished your training, and best of luck to you! 

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